Faced with soaring energy prices, the airline Ryanair announced on Thursday, August 11, to stop selling tickets at ten euros or even less.
“I think there will be no more ten euro notes because oil prices are much higher since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. (…) I think we are not going to see these rates for a number of years”announced the boss of the low-cost airline Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, on BBC Radio 4.
Low-cost airlines like Ireland’s Ryanair or its British rival easyJet have shaken up air travel over the past two decades and slashed prices, contributing to a surge in short trips, including weekend city breaks .
About fifty euros each way
According to Mr O’Leary, average ticket prices on Ryanair are therefore expected to increase from ten euros to around fifty euros per journey in the next five years. Which, given the fare structure of low-cost airlines, with many surcharges, could quickly drive up the total cost of a trip to several hundred euros and undermine demand.
The surge in oil prices over the past year (+36% for Brent listed in London) weighs particularly heavily on the costs of companies known as “low cost” compared to traditional carriers, but it also weighs on household budgets. Annual energy bills will increase by several thousand pounds on average per household in the coming months in the United Kingdom, where inflation could exceed 13% by October, according to the Bank of England.
Faced with price increases that are cutting into the purchasing power of the British, strikes are multiplying in the country and are also affecting the air sector: security personnel at Leeds-Bradford airport (north of England) have thus announced Wednesday evening a strike at the end of August for wages, which could disrupt returns from vacation.
Ryanair boss denounces the consequences of Brexit
However, Michael O’Leary wants to believe that demand for air travel will continue and that, in the face of consumer budget constraints, carriers “low cost” will pull out of the game.
He also protested Thursday against Brexit which has severely reduced access for European workers to the United Kingdom, where they previously held hundreds of thousands of jobs. “The labor market is very tight, particularly for low-skilled jobs in hotels and restaurants, distribution and agriculture, and also for security and baggage handlers at airports”underlines the leader.
“What if there was a little honesty from the government [du premier ministre sur le départ, Boris] Johnson, they would agree that Brexit was a disaster for the free movement of workers and that one of the main difficulties facing the British economy today is the lack of workers”.
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